Tony Blair

Discussion in 'Just Talk' started by proby, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. P J Thompson

    P J Thompson Active Member

    Would it be fair to say that this: http://www.economist.com/content/global_debt_clock represents a slightly more significant issue than things like whether we are in or out of the EU?
    This figure rises second after second, year in, year out.
    Here's one for the place called Britain: http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/

    There are discrepancies in the actual numbers presented depending on which clock you look at. This is down to that site's method of totaling the debt as opposed to another one's.
    The trend on ALL of them though is perpetually upward. Britain has been in the EU, still is. All through the global economic crisis, Britain was in the EU. Leaving the EU may speed up or slow down the rate it's debt accrues...but it will NOT stop it and it will NEVER be reversed. It's a mathematical certainty. The only way these clocks will ever reverse or reset is through something monumentally radical happening. Something unheard of.

    If a country were to pay off it's debt, there'd be no money. It would all be taken out of existence, the 'promises to pay' would be fulfilled and the money would be gone. Debt is essential in this economic model just so that we have currencies in the first place.

    Circa $60 trillion dollars! And all we ever do is pay off some of the interest. Taxes don't build hospitals. Taxes go toward the interest on the debt created by governments to build hospitals. But who is this unimaginable sum of fiat owed to who? Who is getting these interest payments? Who will inevitably foreclose when the debt finally becomes impossible to service? (Which is not so very far aways). Who? The Martians?

    If we are all falling out about things like the EU we are falling out over a pea whilst a wrecking ball is rolling down a hill toward ALL of us. I can't really put it any clearer than that.

    I may be an idealist but the REALITY of our situation is that we need to unite, and quick. If we let ourselves continue to be divided by arguments like in/out, left/right, black/white, Xtian/Muslim, City/Utd...we are ALL gonna get skittled when that wrecking ball gets here.
     
  2. P J Thompson

    P J Thompson Active Member

    For anyone interested, the Bank Of International Settlements. The central bank of central banks. All debt points this way. What is the BIS? It's a commercial bank. A private bank, with stockholders. We'll never know who they are as their identities are protected (but I'd wager the British Queen with her £26 trillion 'worth' is one of them). The BIS is immune from international law under treaty. It can basically do whatever it wants.

    Here's what the BIS got up to around the time of WW2:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/...r-mind-the-Czech-gold-the-Nazis-stole....html

    A longish read and sorry for the Torygraph link but the info is verifiable elsewhere...

    For some interesting and related reading, here's a link to an excellent book on how the Nazi financiers and industrialists approached their looming defeat in WW2:
    http://spitfirelist.com/books/manning.pdf
    This book is very thorough in outlining Martin Bormann's (Hitler's right hand man) Flight Capital program. How he arranged with the Nazi industrialists and financiers to get the booty out of Germany and into safe places before the Allies arrived to take the lot. How they set about preparing for the "fourth Reich"....

    The Bank of International Settlements couldn't have failed to be involved with the Flight Capital Program....

    This is just a highlight of one little area of how dodgy the BIS is. It has financed atrocities for decades. Funds both sides in wars, turns blind eyes to serious heinous crimes and is unnacountable!

    And that's where the debt trail leads to. That bank and it's stockholders.

    On another note, let's not get into the alleged Nazi connections of people like Walter Halstein, who was a founding father of the EU and the alleged Nazi vision of a federal Europe rather like the um, EU ;)
     
  3. btiw

    btiw Well-Known Member

    Firstly debt nearly always goes up that's true, although President Clinton did manage to reduce US debt slightly*.

    But this is only one side of the balance sheet.
    National assets increase too.
    If the government borrows money to build stuff then we have stuff (hospitals, roads, schools).
    If we spend the money on education then (one hopes) we have more educated citizens who will make more money for us.
    If we spend money on health then we have more productive citizens and fewer plagues. That's a kind of asset too.

    You see the assets** we've bought with that debt in the society around us.

    Debt isn't always a bad thing, it depends on what you use it for.

    So who do nations owe the money to?
    Short answer - you, me, DA, koolpc, Phil and companies.

    Let's say I have some money (shut up - it could happen).

    I want that money to grow. I could buy bits of companies (shares) or I could lend some to companies (bonds).
    But what happens if that company goes bankrupt?

    If I want a safer place to store some of that money then I lend it to the Government.
    Governments are safer than companies because they can always print more money to pay me.
    Governments have armies to protect assets.
    Governments write laws.
    Governments can assign debts to other generations.

    Basically Governments are safe for me to lend money to because they can get away with all sorts of stuff that even BP would balk at!

    When someone saves for their pension then some of that money is put into shares, some bonds and some into government bonds. This is done to spread the risk, but we all end up owning a bit of government debt.
    UK Government bonds are called "gilts", they're considered the safest form of debt. You can buy a gilt now if you want and own a piece of that debt, but it's normally done on your behalf.
    Companies and governments buy governments debt too. It's just a safer loan - nothing to go all "conspiracy theory" about.

    So let's look at the "balance sheet".
    In the UK the government debt is roughly £30k per person.
    Is that "too much"?
    Look at the country.
    If we divvied up the UK then I think my share of it is worth MUCH more than £30k.
    If I was offered my £30k back to go live in the Congo instead then I don't think I'd accept it.

    But there again, maybe I'm just a lizard person Illuminati shill in the pay of the Rothschilds ... or perhaps that's just what they want you to think!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    * ...or nearly did depending on the accounts you look at. When asked how he turned the deficit into surplus he replied "arithmetic" - cool answer bro.
    ** Money isn't always spent wisely. That's true too, but that's not debt's fault.
     
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  4. PaulBlackpool

    PaulBlackpool Screwfix Select

    Some of these debts must be owed to the 8 people in the world who own more than half of the world's wealth.
    I was an idealist when I was in my youth. I think I was training to be a chartered accountant at the time . LOL. I really wanted to be an electrician or a hippy but my career path was steered by my parents.
    I thought you just cannot have a society based solely on money. It will be our downfall. Nobody will get together to sort anything out. Wait till China implodes. That will not go down too well.
     
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  5. btiw

    btiw Well-Known Member

    Eight people don't own half the world's wealth. Eight people own as much as the poorest half of the people.
    That's really just saying that half the people on the planet own close to f' all.

    Don't get me wrong. I like idealism.

    In the evening, when I'm all whiskied up, I can drone on for hours about post-economic societies. Fight the power Komrade!

    ...then I sober up and realize that I have to go to work to be a useful economic drone - because that whisky ain't gonna pay for itself.
     
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  6. PaulBlackpool

    PaulBlackpool Screwfix Select

    Sorry I got that a bit wrong. I wonder who these eight people are? I suppose I could ask Jeremey Corbyn! They might be on his hit list. Don't get me wrong I still like him.
    He is one of a few people who could, if they had the power, change things for the better for the majority of the people.
     
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  7. btiw

    btiw Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but the technical definition doesn't really take away from the central point that there are lots of poor people in the world, does it? I felt a little pedantic in bringing it up.

    Five of the eight (Gates, Buffett, Ellison, Bloomberg and Zuckerberg) have pledged to give at least half of their wealth to charity.

    The Gates foundation is doing some great work for the world's poorest.
    I particularly like how intelligently and ambitiously the resources are used.
    The prize of an healthy and wealthy third world is huge, but it's really easy to give up on it as an insurmountable problem.

    The Gates foundation's targeting preventable disease, sanitation and agriculture has been astounding.
    Measles deaths down 90%?
    Good job new world order/Illuminati with your poisonous mind-controlling vaccines, it's only because it's difficult to enslave sheeple if they're dead*.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    * Note to Americans reading this sentence. That was sarcasm. Don't try sarcasm it at home - people will just assume you're using alternative facts.
     
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  8. PaulBlackpool

    PaulBlackpool Screwfix Select

    Your were not being pedantic at all, merely accurate.
    Yes some of the mega rich are extremely philanthropic.
     
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  9. P J Thompson

    P J Thompson Active Member

    I think you're somewhat missing the point btiw,
    Yes, if a company or government takes on debt, some of that debt becomes assets and goes in that column of the balance sheet. It can theoretically be offset against the liabilities but no sane person would suggest that a government sold off the schools, sold off the hospitals, the universities to address the debt......oh wait, hang on a mo. It can be used as a form of collateral for sure, to take on more debt and it is. However the second your debt becomes unserviceable, those assets become fair game. In this regard a nation is identical to an individual who uses debt to fund purchases. It's ok if you manage it well but once you take on too much debt, everything falls apart and whoever you borrowed from will take 'your' assets. Imagine the situation if you start taking out loans to meet the loans you already have. Compound interest and all that. It has happened to nation states as well we know. If the debt keeps rising compared to your ability to pay it you have choices. The general choice made is increase the income, higher taxes, less spending, desperately trying to increase GDP, austerity... Or you could just do a Greece, say naff off and have your assets stripped and sold off cheap to the private sector.


    You also stated that a government can always print more money to pay me if I buy a bond and they don't have the cash. Um yes, in theory and I'm all for it..that doesn't happen though. The Gov will just issue more bonds repayable with more interest to service the interest on the bond you bought. This is what happens. The main purchaser of the bonds used to create that new money is the central bank. The central bank buys those bonds with money it creates from nothing. This injection of fresh cash has a devaluing effect on the currency and further commits it to yet more interest repayment. Can kicking. You can't kick cans forever unless your assets and income rise at an equivalent rate, forever. Which is pretty much impossible. So this whole situation forces nations that use it into crazy scenarios. The results of this can be seen all around us. More public assets going into the hands of the private sector, a crippled NHS, tuition fees etc etc. All desperate attempts to service the repayments on the debt.

    And in most of these debt clocks, state pension liabilities, which are huge...aren't included.

    Governments having armies to protect assets means literally nothing in this context. The armies' wages', the weapons they use are all funded by the very debt we speak of :D And anyway, is that a fair contention? I'm not even sure what you mean by it. It's cool to buy government gilts because they have an army that can protect whatever they buy with my money? That seems to be what you said.

    Governments write laws. Yes, they sign in the laws that create situations like a private banking network being responsible for the creation of our currencies, with interest repayable :) Yay, go them!

    Governments can assign debt to other generations. Yes, and they do. Though sadly not to dead generations, only future ones. As has happened in these austere times. Our kids and their kids' kids will be paying for the 2008 banking 'crisis'. They'll not only be paying in taxes but also in poorer services, likely paying for health insurance, unemployment insurance etc. Because the Welfare State will no doubt be gone and everything will be in the hands of the profit motive. Brilliant.

    "conspiracy theory" :rolleyes:

    Your last paragraph about "£30k" is largely nonsense. As is the David Icke style reference.

    Enjoy your whiskey :) Maybe have it whilst you read this site a bit? http://www.debtbombshell.com
    which is a tad outdated
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
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  10. proby

    proby Active Member

    What's all this got to do with Tony Blair you lot b ugger off and start your own thread :p
     
    btiw likes this.
  11. That post should become a 'Sticky' under a new forum called "Economists' Talk".
     
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  12. P J Thompson

    P J Thompson Active Member

    Actually, I pretty much regret linking to that site now having just read it's how to avert a debt crisis page :D
    It's outdated and pretty much anti labour party but...the Tories have made the situation far worse. More than doubling the total debt since they came to power.
    In my view, the methods suggested by that sight for averting a crisis are definitely along the lines of hard line tories.
    "
    Averting a debt crisis in Britain
    As complex as the national debt problem may be, the solutions call for nothing more than basic common sense. These are just some of the simple steps Britain can take to maintain economic and social stability:

    1. The Government needs to stop borrowing and spend less. If debt is the problem, repayment is the solution. That might sound obvious, but our politicians haven't grasped it yet.

    2. Get the public finances under control and balance the budget. Start being honest about what services the state can no longer afford to deliver.

    3. Stop demonising anyone who speaks out against our addiction to spending and waste. Public spending cannot be sustained at current levels, so cutting it is the only sensible course of action.

    4. Take back the moral high ground. The consequences of excess debt are misery and dishonour. What is noble about our addiction to debt and ignorance of its consequences?

    5. Talk to your friends and family. Stop politicians bribing the electorate with borrowed and printed money. Embed the debt counter on your site and spread the message."

    Mmmm, ok. Sounds a bit Tory manifesto :D
    Though Tory governments apparently borrow more than Labour ones. Despite Tories claims that New Labour borrowed irresponsibly the latest Tory governments have added summat like £700 billion to the debt!

    Neither of them ever actually properly talk about the financial system itself though.
     
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  13. P J Thompson

    P J Thompson Active Member

    :)
    Point taken
     
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  14. btiw

    btiw Well-Known Member

    And I think you're missing the point.
    I'm not taking a position and arguing it like this is a debate.
    You seem to be taking just one side.
    I'm trying to point out that there have been some fantastic benefits too.

    We have something for that debt.
    An asset isn't just collateral it's something that makes you more money. It's investments too.
    I don't agree with selling off our national assets. We agree that's a mistake.
    I think austerity was a mistake too. Why? Because we can take on debt and power through it.
    If we take on debt to spend it on stupid stuff, then that's stupid by definition. I agree.
    Happy to talk about Greece and the Euro in general. We'd probably end up agreeing that it's a horrible, horrible mess.
    So I don't think we're as far apart as you think.

    If anything, I think our national debt is surprisingly low when you consider what we have for it.
    We largely built this country on debt.

    We borrow.
    We build.
    Worked well.
    Do it again.

    This debt thing works so well why would we ever pay it back so long as we can service it?
    We can service it. Pretty easily. Would I like to see higher taxes to better service it and take on more debt? Yes that too.
    Yes - government pension debt exists too. Future contributions pay future liabilities.

    Of course governments assign debts to future generations. With luck (or without tories anyway) they'll be the ones with the assets we bought with it.

    What did we buy with the huge amounts of debt from the 2008 financial bailouts?
    We bought a continuing economy.
    I'd like to say we also invested in the wisdom not to do it again, but sadly I can't.
    So of course this game we've played for the last couple of hundred years can go wrong, but it's given us the western world too.

    Glad to hear that you're not an new world order nutter though. Full reserve banking and anti-banker rhetoric are often linked to views on UFOs and chemtrails.
    So it's nice we can just stick to economics without worrying about Nirimbu crashing into us.

    I've read sites like the one you've suggested before.
    I quite like those sorts of sites, but I'm cursed with the ability to do maths so I can never really get into them.
    Besides they're always "less tax". That's nuts. We've seen how debt has a multiplier effect.

    Edit - just seen your post about that site. Yeah, they are a bit "tory manifesto" aren't they?
     
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  15. btiw

    btiw Well-Known Member

    On to fiat money. Same rules. I'm not taking a position, just trying to look at this from all sides.

    Fiat money creates liquidity. It results in economic activity.

    Here are two stories.
    1. With fiat money.
    BTIW: Hey DA. My chainsaw is blunt and I need to clear some land could you sharpen it?
    DA: Sure, gizza tenner.
    (BTIW prints a dodgy tenner, DA sharpens chainsaw, BTIW clears land)
    DA: Can I buy that wood you've chopped down? I have a tenner (although the ink on it seems strangely wet).
    (BTIW sells wood gets tenner back.)
    BTIW: Hey DA, I see you've bucked that firewood, can I buy the woodchips and twigs. It'd keep the weeds down on my newly cleared land. Here's a (smudged) tenner.
    (BTIW buys woodchips and plants potatoes)
    DA: Do you need all those spuds - I could bake some on my fire? I have a weird looking tenner.
    (BTIW sells spuds).
    So now I have a sharp chainsaw and a potato patch. DA has firewood and potatoes.
    Total economic activity £40.
    This activity will increase if DA sells potatoes or I grow more potatoes or chop down more trees with my sharp chainsaw.
    I could now destroy the tenner, but hang on... that worked well... why don't I print some more and see if Proby will help me build a fence for sheep.

    In that story I was the evil banker.
    Note there was no fraction deposited I just went nuts and printed money wholesale so the analogy breaks down a bit. Or use it as a debt analogy. I printed an IOU my children would pay.
    Ummm... These stories never really work that well as you hope when you start them.
    Where did I get the petrol for the chainsaw? Where did DA get the file?
    But it wouldn't work as a parable if it included the whole global economy.

    With fiat money it could all go horribly wrong too e.g. perhaps DA tries to spend the tenner with someone who isn't in on the funny money - I'm probably pushing this tale too far now.
    Luckily most nations are in on the joke. Some go a bit nuts with it (deliberately) and we get Zimbabwe.

    2. Without fiat money.
    BTIW: Hey DA. My chainsaw is blunt and I need to clear some land could you sharpen it?
    DA: Sure, giz some gold.
    BTIW: Gold? WTF! Do I look like a rapper!?
    Total economic activity £0.


    Bankers create this money out of thin air. It's a neat trick that keeps the economy going so they get rewarded for it.

    Occasionally bankers go nuts too and it all goes horribly wrong. Interestingly they get rewarded for that too.
     
  16. P J Thompson

    P J Thompson Active Member

    Our thoughts seem close in many regards but we differ on the crucial point of debt. Debt to the level that your entire economy exists purely because of it is to my mind crazy. If there were some awesome philanthropic benefactor handing out interest free loans then hey, as long as you can meet the payments...but there isn't.
    All of this debt comes with interest payable. This is to my mind, insanity. Especially as it compounds....

    The benefits you describe, which are tangible, could just as easily have been achieved with a debt free currency. It is after all, the constitutional right of a sovereign 'nation' to print it's own money. On a slightly 'on topic' note it was in Blair's first term that New Labour granted independence to the bank of England, pretty much handing control of the economy over to the private banking network.

    With regard to the post 2008 extra debt keeping our economy going...the money that was created, borrowed and then given to the failing banks, didn't go into circulation. It went into off shore accounts where it remains. It's long been shown that should that extra money have been handed out as helicopter payments to the people, it would have had a far more beneficial effect on stimulating the economy because people would have spent it, in the economy ;) Was all that QE about protecting the economy? I contend not. I contend that it was about protecting an irresponsible and immoral financial sector. Croney capitalism.


    Your fiat story is fatally flawed by the way. You created a counterfeit tenner. That's not the same as creating a 'legitimate' one and charging interest for putting it into the system ;)
     
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  17. btiw

    btiw Well-Known Member

    But the interest is largely payable to the citizens. Our pension funds own a lot of that government debt.

    I'm a fan of helicopter drops too. I think they make economic, political and ethical sense. The first party that works it out will win in a landslide.

    Yes. As they say - all stories are false; but some are useful.
    I did wonder if I could shoe-horn the principles of fractional reserve banking into the story, but it seemed pointless as we both understand it.
     
  18. P J Thompson

    P J Thompson Active Member

    [​IMG] From that site :D http://www.debtbombshell.com/images/gilt-holdings.png

    Insurance companies and pensions being lumped together doesn't help us much in this context but you can still see that 55% of the debt is owed to banks, other financial institutions and overseas investors (offshore accounts). If we speculate that half of that blue 39.8% is insurance companies, it could be added to that 55%. So around 75% of the national debt is owed to financial institutions of some sort, either here or overseas and 20% is to pension funds (which are most likely private funds that make profit for themselves as well as pay pensions). Would that be a fair speculation?

    3% is owed to 'us'.
    These figures translate to the interest too of course.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  19. btiw

    btiw Well-Known Member

    I have money in banks too and I want my insurance company to be able to pay me with safer money if something catches fire. It's still us.
    Our citizens (though pension funds and insurances) hold overseas investments too. It's not scary, it's just risk management.
    The banks and financial organizations aren't "them" they're "us" too.
     
  20. P J Thompson

    P J Thompson Active Member

    That's fair comment of course. Though, how much interest is your bank paying you on your deposits? How much have your insurance premiums risen in real terms in recent years?
    Ring fencing of investment banking is coming, 2019 isn't it? The permitting of retail bank deposits to be used in investment banking is apparently a huge factor in the 2008 crisis anyway ;) The whole Glass Steagall hullabaloo over the pond and all that. Very soon retail banking deposits won't be involved in that pie chart but I doubt that will significantly affect the chart.

    Yes, of course you or I may invest in overseas bonds. I get what you are saying, that this 75% isn't all going to George Soros and his friends (if he has any) but I will wager that a huge proportion of it is investment by people like Soros, wouldn't you agree?
     

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